Step 2: Investigation


Investigation of a problem or complaint begins with talking to people, often several people.  They include:

  • The affected employee (that is, the potential grievant)
  • Any witnesses who might have seen or heard anything related to theevent. Interview witnesses separately  this helps gather information and sort out inconsistencies. Don’t settle for hearsay information. If someone says to you, “Harry told me …,” go talk to Harry
  • The supervisor involved in the event. By meeting informally with the supervisor, you can sometimes learn helpful information and you may find a way of resolving the problem without having to file a grievance. (Before talking to a supervisor, always let the employee know you are going to do that.)

Asking the Right Questions starts by asking some basic questions known as the “5 W’s” to each person you talk to

  • Who was involved? (Names of people involved in event)
  • What happened? (Description of the event)
  • Where did it happen? (Location of the event)
  • When did it happen? (Date and time the event occurred)
  • Why is this a grievance? (Contract sections being violated)

Listen carefully to what each person has to say. Take notes during or after each conversation. Review these notes to make sure the information is accurate and complete. Follow up to verify information; fill in gaps and clear up discrepancies.

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